It is snowing. Mark came home for lunch whistling "Walking In a Winter Wonderland." He is unfailingly cheerful. I hate him...frequently.
I have been thinking of many things. Fear, inertia, false expectations and cabbages and kings. I am stressing about our upcoming trip to Montana. Gobs of stuff to do. I usually let all the tasks I set for myself overwhelm and immobilize me. Then I try to do everything at the last minute. I eat the whole way through. This morning I noticed the overwhelmedness (my new word) has a physical component. It feels like a vacuum in my chest. Vacuum in the sense of suck up every particle of food in sight, and vacuum in the sense of hollow. This feeling scares me, or it is fear, I'm not sure which. I try to push it away or down with food. But there is not enough food in the western world to fill this fear full hole. I usually feel like crying along with the vacuum feeling. What I want is to be free of the overwhelmedness. I want to be at peace. Recall my prayer chair.
Aunt Wilma taught me the mechanics of overwhelmedness. She did not believe in slowing down, for anything. She would get overwhelmed and then just keep on pushing, screaming the whole way. This morning I decided to try a different track. I wanted peace. A relief from the fear of not meeting my own expectations. Remember if everything is not perfect I will be punished. (The jury is still out on who will do the punishing.) So I went to my prayer chair and sat for an hour. I did devotions and read a book. I let my mind wander right up into the midst of the fear. I looked at the consequences of not accomplishing all the stuff I think needs to be done before we leave. Not a dire thing in the whole bunch. This lessened much of the fear. After sitting there for my hour I got up and did the thing that was scaring me the most. I was going to put it off and have a sandwich, but changed my mind. Once the worst was over the rest did not seem so bad. I have not felt pushed to get stuff done, and I have accomplished a fair amount. I also let go of the fantasy of cleaning the entire house before we left. Yes it would be wonderful to come home to a clean house, but not at the price I would have to pay to get it cleaned. This decision freed me up to do more important stuff. What a day I'm having.
So, what have I learned? First, when that vacuum feeling starts, I need to feed my soul. It is empty and scared and needs to be stoked and loved before I can get anything else done. This is not procrastination, it is prevention. Second, MOVE. Start with the scariest/hardest thing and get it done. Like birth, once the head is out, it is all downhill from there.
This has been a darn good day, even if my beloved did risk near death by chorusing "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow."
Take care of yourselves. Love Bea